Effective Moral Ethics Education at the Undergraduate Level in Pakistan: The Role of Curriculum
|Journal||The International Research Journal Department of Usooluddin|
|Title||Effective Moral Ethics Education at the Undergraduate Level in Pakistan: The Role of Curriculum|
|Author(s)||Rahman, Abdur, Safia Aftab, Ubaid Ahmed Khan|
|Keywords||Ethical education, Curriculum, Morality, Teleological Approach, Inclusion.|
|Chicago 16th||Rahman, Abdur, Safia Aftab, Ubaid Ahmed Khan. "Effective Moral Ethics Education at the Undergraduate Level in Pakistan: The Role of Curriculum." The International Research Journal Department of Usooluddin 2, no. 1 (2018).|
|APA 6th||Rahman, A., Aftab, S., Khan, U. A. (2018). Effective Moral Ethics Education at the Undergraduate Level in Pakistan: The Role of Curriculum. The International Research Journal Department of Usooluddin, 2(1).|
|MHRA||Rahman, Abdur, Safia Aftab, Ubaid Ahmed Khan. 2018. 'Effective Moral Ethics Education at the Undergraduate Level in Pakistan: The Role of Curriculum', The International Research Journal Department of Usooluddin, 2.|
|MLA||Rahman, Abdur, Safia Aftab, Ubaid Ahmed Khan. "Effective Moral Ethics Education at the Undergraduate Level in Pakistan: The Role of Curriculum." The International Research Journal Department of Usooluddin 2.1 (2018). Print.|
|Harvard||RAHMAN, A., AFTAB, S., KHAN, U. A. 2018. Effective Moral Ethics Education at the Undergraduate Level in Pakistan: The Role of Curriculum. The International Research Journal Department of Usooluddin, 2.|
Ethical Education is an optional subject in lieu of Islamic Studies for non-Muslim students in Pakistan from primary to undergraduate level. The main aim of this study is to discuss factors which can help to design a Moral Ethic curriculum which would assist the teachers to educate an individual with his/her own identity, to assimilated by ethical values with developed moral judgment and behavior established by an individual’s beliefs. Students can show a positive attitude towards themselves and others and be able to work together and support others. In this perspective, we also illustrated that moral education helped those people who respect social norms and behave sensibly in any situation belonged to present or future. Therefore, the main objective of this research paper is to establish the necessary elements that should be the part of an effective Moral Ethics curriculum in order to create a democratic and educational environment where everyone can respect for others’ beliefs and stop violating others’ feelings on the basis of freedom of speech. In this study, our targeted readers were included teachers of Moral Ethics, policy makers at different levels, and curriculum developers.
The question is how the curriculum influences the process of learning, it would be pertinent to know what is curriculum and learning, and how do they interact to each other. The term curriculum means “runs a (race) course” and it indicates to a series of “steps or stages” in “teaching and learning” a precise text or concept.1 As it is difficult to control the experiences of learners so, it is better to provide them with “opportunities” to learn certain knowledge. Thus, “a curriculum is a sequence of learning opportunities provided to students in their study of specific content.”
In the present scenario, a general decline in moral values has fueled the intolerant, aggressive and violent behaviour in students like the other members of the society as well. On the other hand, the availability of social media has provided every single person with a forum to disseminate his/her thoughts and beliefs freely in the name of the right of free speech. This attitude has seriously divided the Pakistani nation at the social and religious level. Besides the family upbringing and social control, educational training can help to save children’s minds at an early age from conflicting issues. Knowledge and education is thought to be the major contributors to reduce poverty, provide steady advancement and economic progress.2 In this context curriculum is an approach that is increasingly seen as a basic tool for educational development to achieve proposed educational results. The curriculum presents knowledge, skills and values in a systematic and organized way: a choice that changes the way in which teaching, learning and evaluation procedures are arranged to address issues such as “what, why, when, and how” students should learn.
In general, the curriculum is a “political and social” document that provides the shared vision of society while concentrating on domestic, national and international requirements and vision. In other words, the curriculum reflects the educational goals and objectives of the community. Now a day, the process of “curriculum reform” is increasingly dependent on community debates and exchange of opinions with relevant stakeholders. Therefore, curriculum design has become the subject of significant discussion - often with conflicting views - involving “policymakers”, scholars, stakeholders and community at large. Policy makers and program designers are facing the complexities of curriculum design and questions which are related to the goals of learning and evaluation process. The procedure of curriculum designing is affected by local needs and global patterns; there is a need to understand and deal with domestic problems and cultural issues rising globally in the context of national objects.3
THE IDEA OF MORALITY
The philosophers and ethicists explain the idea of Morality in different ways, but in general, it means community or culture provides the standards of good and evil. This idea is dependent on rules, concepts and criteria used to differentiate within right and wrong. Although the concepts of “good and happiness” have a specific “cultural” connotation, morality in general implies to behaviour and susceptibility that promote “respect, responsibility, integrity and honesty”. According to Lickona (1996), “respect and responsibility” are the two fundamental elements of ethics on which other principles are based.4
THE IDEA OF MORAL EDUCATION
Moral education has always been a constant goal of a civilized society. Through Moral Education, students are educated mentally and physically to react in matters of good and evil.5 It is quite an obvious fact that school curriculum function is not only to educate the young pupils but also to transform them into a good citizen. The restoration of moral education goes back to the fact that modern societies are often confronted with problematic facts in educational institutes and communities as a whole. The word “moral value” is vague and required some explanation. It indicates means that specific values that are usually specific in certain communities are varied according to different cultures. For example, there is a great difference in Easter and Western social cultures; as one common social norm in the West is seen an offensive act in Eastern society and vice versa.
Often some individuals and ethnic groups confront each other on common ethical values, although most cultures deal with values that we define "patriotism" as an ethical value and see "betrayal" with empty words. In short, generally "ethical values" are the basic human beliefs that help to form social relations among human beings in different societies. These moral traits, as in the Ten Commandments, often contain religious orders. Whether religious, secular or traditional, it must be generally accepted in most conditions. Consequently, morality is explained as a just behaviour, not only in our direct social relationships but also in our relationships with our social fellows and in the eyes of the entire human race. As the determination of our behaviour depends on the possession of moral concepts regarding the right and wrong ideas, our culture, religion and society have set for us.6 In other words, every society knows about the concept of right or wrong. Therefore, morality is characterized as a just behaviour, guided through or determined by the concerned communities.
All the sources which were examined in the context of the importance of Moral Ethics curriculum at the tertiary level agreed that Moral ethics must be taught in educational institutes. The basic questions are: should Moral Ethics be taught? How should Moral Ethics be taught? And will its teaching be effective? This section will analyze contradictory arguments in the literature about the role of curriculum in moral education in schools and colleges. According to Frankena (1973), “moral values can be divided into five categories: deontic, teleological, intrinsic and extrinsic. The Deontic values of faith are related to moral rights - issues of justice, equity, rights and responsibilities. Most educational institutions have existing structures that explicitly address issues involving moral rights, at least with regard to the obligations and rights of students, faculty and staff.”7
The “Teleological values” are related to “issues of moral good” or concerned with the well-being of others. These are often not identified in American schools, although services such as school meal programs, student outreach campaigns, and vaccination campaigns are an expression of moral good. Moral values include provisions on the moral value of individuals and institutions. They include motives and attributes of personality such as “generosity”, “empathy”, “loyalty” which are often described as motives for moral action. Historically, teachers have weighted the evolution of moral personality. The core values are these valuable endings of their inherent numerical validity. They include qualities such as “autonomy”, awareness, “intelligence” and “knowledge”. Their progress is seen as offering people. Finally, external values are the means through which good deeds can be produced, such as wealth, arts, knowledge and journey, even though they do not reflect any intrinsic value.
Lawrence Kohlberg (1975) built his own theory on Piaget's earlier work on the construction of children’s morality.8 Using a technique identical to the stages of Piaget's development of the child, Kohlberg proposed the theory of moral thinking focusing on “three levels and six stages”, where children advance according to “the preconvention (based on personal needs and others‘ rules), conventional (based on others‘ approval, expectations or values), and post-conventional moral reasoning (based on social contracts and individual principles)”. Kohlberg's work served as the basis for several moral education programs. His theory arising in the wake of “the Social, Justice Movement has led to moral development” becoming a prominent theme in psychology books and fix its place in the school education in many ways, such as the values. Similar to Piaget‘s ideas, Kohlberg also emphasized the teaching of Moral ethics education in schools.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD MORAL ETHICS CURRICULUM:
When developing differentiation approaches, a dynamic curriculum would take into account this fact that students have different level of learning and understanding a same content. Some, for example, are efficient and qualified auditors; others need visual aids; some learn things better by practical simulations.9 A well-designed curriculum will support teachers to be more familiar with learners and ensure that teaching methods and strategies focus on obtaining the best result from their student.10
The curriculum must also be challenging, while one of the main objectives of Moral ethics curriculum are to enable each student to realize his or her potential. It is important that the Moral Ethics curriculum expands children's capabilities and critical thinking which stimulate the development of curiosity analytical questioning and imagination. The content of the curriculum must be sequential and progressive.11. It should be included curricula or subject-wise data appropriate to different age level and must take into account the stages of child development, with special attention to “cognitive and emotional” development. It must be flexible enough to allow individual learning (for capable learners).
A good curriculum is organized into a number of distinct but interconnected components. These components are usually expressed in documents that are developed and written specifically for the purposes of the curriculum and not merely modifications to other documents (such as educational policies or textbooks).12
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